A Terrible Disaster
Aspen Weekly Times, Colorado
January 11, 1896
Victor, Jan. 4. -- A terrible accident occurred about noon here today at the Anna Lee shaft on Battle mountain, belonging to the Portland mine. Nine men were caught in a big cave-in and four of these who were in the cage when the ground gave way, are probably dead.
The names of those who were in the cage are:
Superintendent Frank Sheldon
Foreman W. E. Loane
Those who were in the mine at the time are:
Cosgrove (last name only)
LEWIS (last name only)
It is believed it will take a week or ten days to rescue the entombed miners. The shaft on the Anna Lee is about 900 feet deep and the cave-in takes in the entire shaft from top to bottom.
The cause of the disaster cannot be definitely stated, but it is known that the timbering for some time past has been insufficient to sustain the great weight, both internally and perpendicularly, to which it has been subjected.
About two weeks ago the shaft of the Anna Lee shrank to such an extent near one of the stations about the middle of the shaft that that the cage upon which there were three men at the time would not pass down. This was the first indication that the workings were closing in and efforts were made to remedy the trouble.
The cave-in began thirty-five feet from the top and the debris has filled the greater part of the shaft. The work of rescue was started at once and great efforts are being made to reach the men. It is doubtful if they can be reached in time to save any of them.
There is great excitement among mining men at Victor in consequence of the accident.
The foreman of the mine, W. E. Loane, who was caught on the cage, and for whose escape from death there is little hope, is well known in Aspen. He lived in this city for many years, was at one time foreman of the Aspen mine, and engaged in numerous mining enterprises here. He has been an invalid for a couple of years, suffering with inflammatory rheumatism. Recently his health improved and he accepted the position of foreman on the Anna Lee.
Ed Gladden of this city received a letter a day or two ago from Mr. Loane in which the letter stated that he had commenced work for the Portland company as foreman of the Anna Lee on Sunday, December 22.
Mr. Loane was about 38 years of age and leaves a wife but no children.